Not understanding the “joy of the Lord” can create an imbalance in your life. I’ve seen this when “joy” is put on a pedestal and treated as if it’s a mandate from God. I’ve seen it hurt people in the worst way.
Along will come a fellow Christian dealing with some heavy issues in their life, traumatized, and the one’s around them who are doing “good” will say, “Hey! Don’t let the devil steal your joy!” in a glib and minimizing way implying it’s a ‘sin’ to hurt.
Why? Why do they spout this nonsense that only ends up “shutting people up?” Because the one saying it has put joy on a pedestal in a off balance understanding of true joy that thinks joy makes you a giddy fool with a smile plastered on your face.
The word says, the “joy of the LORD” is your strength. This has nothing to do with a feeling of ‘bubbly effervescent happiness.” While fun to feel this way, the emphasis is on the LORD, that focusing on him WILL strengthen you because he is your defender, your shepherd, your shield, your bulwark, your rock, your protector , and your savior. ALL of those roles signify that they are performed in the context of turmoil, attack, tribulations, and problems of every sort.
One day, we will have no need of those things because we will be with him in perfect peace. But for now, we fight.
In reality, when people say to not the devil steal your joy in response to you telling them your struggles, it’s about THEM and their inability to know what to say to you. It’s about how THEY feel, in a “happy-happy-joy-joy” neurotic way of thinking.
This emphasis on “joy-out-of-balance” makes one self centered. No where in scripture is this supported. Instead, we are admonished to comfort those who need comforting; and, we are admonished to put on the full armor of God, which begs the question of: since when is being a soldier ‘fun’?
I’m not advocating walking around all doom and gloom and depressed all the time like that is “holy.” What I’m saying is we need to stop ignoring the people around us, and especially our brothers and sisters in Christ, who may be dealing with some real painful situations. Stop putting false expectations on them to just be “joyful” when in reality WE are the ones who just can’t handle it-we just don’t want to hear it because we don’t know what to do. Ho sad for us when we ourselves don’t know our true authority we have in Christ. We sell Him short and hurt others with this response.
We are NOT powerless my friends when we hear about hard things. There are many things we can do for those around us. If not practically, then we CAN do something spiritually: by PRAYING. So many times that’s all I had available to help in various life and death scenarios, only to have God turn the tide and miracles were performed. People on the verge of death and complete destruction o have seen God step in time and time again in response to prayer ALONE.
So let’s strengthen ourselves in the LORD, and not shy away from painful things or “pained people” in our lives. Let’s get a hold of PRAYER and INTERCESSION again. It is like a nuclear bomb in the spiritual realm!!
Remember who you are and WHOSE you are! GREATER is HE who is in you than he who is in the world! 💥💥💥💥💥💥